I share your enthusiasm for the events at ALA last weekend. The dramatic readings by the Mark Twain Players were a highlight, and we have John Bird to thank for coming up with the idea for last year's ALA and keeping it going this year. The panel with Ann Ryan, Seema Sharma, and Kara Johnson was very interesting all around. And it's very heartening to have some new voices contributing to the progress of Twain studies.
Thanks for mentioning _Mark Twain and Money_. A couple of points worth noting: the papers on that panel are not in the volume. Harry and I worked up our presentations separate from the collection, though they are in the same critical terrain. Howard's terrific paper on Million-Pound Banknote was a fortuitous addition to the panel that we only wish we knew about when preparing the volume.
The book includes chapters from some well known and highly respected members of our community: Gregg Camfield, Joe Csicsila, Judith Yaross Lee, Sharon McCoy, Ann Ryan, and Susanne Weil. Given the track record of these scholar-critics, that's a pretty solid core. I'm confident that the very interesting work from emerging scholars--Christine Benner Dixon, Jonathan Hayes, Jeffrey Miller, and Mark Scheibe--will provoke further debate. Last, Harry and I each contributed a chapter; and his introduction and my coda open and close the collection.
With any luck, it will be available for everyone's holiday shopping list. It will make the perfect gift for any Twainian. We tried to convince the press to make it available in a stocking-stuffer size, but they wouldn't go for it.
Professor of English & Film Studies
Department of Literature and Languages
From: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, June 3, 2016 9:06 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: MT Circle @ ALA
I'm a bit surprised nobody has mentioned the ALA meetings last week in San
Francisco, so I'll take a moment. Great seeing so many friends, first of
all. Second, I was impressed with the panels. It's great to see so many
younger scholars all jazzed up about Twain, such as Kara Johnson at
Northwestern. The papers on MT & Money, part of a forthcoming book project
(ed. Harry Wonham), were really interesting.
But the highlight was probably the renditions of "1601" & the "Science of
Onanism": followed by a surprisingly sober discussion and analysis of the
pieces, especially in terms of their place in historical accounts of MT --
which was then followed by a MTC happy hour; which was then followed by an
amazing 9-course dinner at one of Chinatown's top restaurants. I'm still
dreaming of the prawns, crab, and fish dishes that were serves; and I want
to acknowledge publicly John Bird and his lovely wife of 35 years, for
planning and arranging that wonderful evening.
The other moment to note is that at that dinner, Vic Fischer was publicly
acknowledged by a grateful company of folks for his outstanding service
over many years to the MT community of scholars. Thanks for all your hard
I'd be curious to hear anyone else's thoughts on the conference, --hb
Prof. Harold K. Bush
Professor of English
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO 63108
314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)